Late snow spurs Vail Valley spring fever |

Late snow spurs Vail Valley spring fever

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyAfter a long winter, Chris Cappel, 6, plays in the sun at the Brush Creek Playground in Eagle.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” It’s a warm, sunny day in Edwards, and Singletree resident Maria Santas is taking full advantage of the warm weather.

Santas was out at the playground with the three children she nannies, who were about the important business of digging holes and creating mounds of sand.

Like many other valley residents, Santas said she is ready for the warm weather to come and stay.

“Spring fever is in full effect. It’s been hard having teases of the good weather, so we take advantage of any remotely good weather to get outside,” she said.

Everyone is sick of winter and snow, she said, including the kids.

“They’re just over it. They’re not as excited to play in the snow anymore, and its a lot harder to get everyone in their snow clothes now to go outside,” she said.

Edwards nanny Andy Goodman had similar sentiments. It’s nice to take the kids for a walk, go to the dog park, or be able to sit outside Starbucks and drink coffee, she said.

She has been getting plants ready to grow a garden with the children she nannies. As soon as the ground thaws enough, they plan to plant some flowers, herbs, vegetables and little spruce trees on a little patch in the backyard, she said.

Jan Fedrizzi, who lives in Upper Kaibab near Eagle, has also started working on the beginnings of her garden. She is already picking asparagus and rhubarb, and her apricot tree is in bloom.

“Now it a good time to weed, because it’s wet, and its a good time to prune, if you can get around the cold weather,” she said.

She has also started putting out her hanging baskets of flowers, but often she has to take them in to keep them from freezing at night, she said.

“In Colorado, that’s just the way it is,” she said. “Colder weather at this time isn’t that uncommon. It used to be that you didn’t plant until Memorial Day.”

Battle Mountain High School teacher Jake Orlowitz said he has not had as much time to enjoy the weather because school gets busier at the end of the year. But he said he’s glad spring is here anyway.

“I’m just happy I don’t have to be cold anymore,” he said.

Of course, there were others who hung up their skis for the season and went straight to their warm-weather sports.

Eagle residents Chrissy Welch and James Parsons said they have been doing day hikes in Glenwood Springs, at the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction and Sylvan Lake.

“By the end of this month and by mid-June, it will be perfect,” Parsons said. “It’s not too hot and not too cold.”

This can be an awkward transition time when the “rivers aren’t high enough to kayak, but the trails aren’t quite ready,” said Avon resident Scott Leonard. “It’s not quite summer yet, but it’s around the corner. It’s in the air.”

However, he has been spending the time on his road bike, and is biding his time until it is dry enough to take his motorcycle out on the trails.

“It’s ready. The oil is changed, and I’m ready to go,” he said.

Avon resident Nate Standish said he has been fishing at Nottingham Lake, where he caught several 12- to 14-inch rainbow trout a few weeks ago.

“They were just beautiful fish. You just hold it and the brown spots just jump out at you,” he said.

But the real sign that spring is here?

“I’m seeing butterflies,” he said, grinning. “That’s when you formally know that spring is coming.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or

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